Former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, was a popular ally of the Speaker Yakubu Dogora and was instrumental in Dogora’s ascension to the position of Speakership. However, their friendship turned sour after the controversial 2016 budget was passed, during which Abdulmumin Jibrin was the chairman, House Committee on appropriation.
With the resignation of Abdulmumin Jibrin on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, their relationship took a bitter turn around and both parties have been trading accusations with Abdulmumin Jibrin calling for the for the resignation of the Speaker and four other principal officers in the House for budget padding.
The other officers are Deputy Speaker Hon. Yusuf Sulaimon Lasun, the Chief Whip Hon. Ado Garba Alhassan and the Minority Leader Hon. Ogor Leonard Okuweh.
Hon. Jibrin who has been replaced with Mustapha Dawakimade, from Kano, made the call in a statement released on Thursday, July 21, 2016, where he alleged that the Speaker attempted to pad N30 billion into the 2016 budget.
Mr. Jibrin, who is representing Bebeji/Kiru constituency, Kano also opened up on the reason for his removal from the position as chairman House Committee on appropriation.
Hon. Jibrin accused the four officers of attempting to allocate to themselves N40billion out of the N100billion allocated to the entire National Assembly, during the passing of the 2016 budget. An action he claimed to have firmly stood against.
He said : “In addition to billions of wasteful projects running over 20 billion they allocated to their constituencies…
“These members of the body of principal officers were not comfortable with my independent disposition and my refusal to cover up their unilateral decision to allocate to themselves N40billion out of the N100billion allocated to the entire National Assembly.
“My inability to admit into the budget almost N30 billion personal requests from Mr. Speaker and the 3 other principal officers also became an issue”.
He said the speaker started victimising him for taking a stance of truth in handling the budget: “After the submission of the first version of the budget which was returned by Mr. President, I briefed members in executive session and told them as agreed at our pre-budget meeting with chairmen and deputy chairmen of standing committees, we simply adopted their reports with little amendments. No body faulted my submission.
“Members insisted they must know how the N100 billion was allocated. I told them the truth. Since after that meeting, Mr Speaker with the suport of the three other principal officers effectively blocked me from briefing members, ensured I was not at the last executive session and refused to investigate issues I raised that I believe must be addressed if we intend to build a better budget system for the House.”
Hon. Jibrin said he intends to take the matter till the very end : “I intend to explore all internal avenues of the House to brief my colleagues in detail and testify against Speaker Dogara, Deputy Lasun, Whip Doguwa and Minority leader Leo Ogor on why they should resign. If I am not allowed to exercise my privilege, I shall consider legal options.”
Hon. Jibrin made clear his stance on the proposed immunity bill for leaders of the National Assembly, when he openly opposed the bill during sitting on Tuesday, July19, 2016.
He said his stance on the immunity bill coupled with his refusal to pad the budget lead to his misfortune. “Lately I openly disagreed with some principal officers on the issue of immunity for Lawmakers” he said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker, through the spokesperson for the house Abdulrazak Namdas, debunked Jibrin claims.
He said, “We must make it abundantly clear that he was not removed because of his support or otherwise on immunity bill.
“It is a cheap blackmail on the part of Hon. Jibrin to even insinuate that he was removed because he opposed immunity bill.”
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